A Rad Recovery? Just Give Me A Beet!

In order to bring some sense of calm to a rather faced paced and busy world we try to organise¬†our blog posts into weekly themes for you (we are lovely we know ūüėČ ) and this week‚Äôs theme is all about the importance of recovery.

Many people over look this incredibly significant aspect, and instead put all their efforts into active exercise. Now this is entirely admirable but what would you say if we told you that you might actually get fitter, become leaner and increase your power and stamina if you chilled out a bit more and munched on a bit of beetroot now and again…?

Slightly baffled? A tad unsure? Not to worry we‚Äôve got some insightful bullet points for you now ūüôā

  1. When we exercise we increase the levels of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol in the blood. This is entirely natural but continuous hard exercise keeps these levels too high which actually inhibits fat burning and instead makes us more likely to use muscle tissue for energy.
  2. Exercising produces free radicals in the body which we need to use nutrients including vitamins and minerals to neutralise to protect us from harm. Without adequate time to recover our system may become over burdened depressing other vital functions such as our immune system.
  3. Recovery time and rest days provide our body’s with a window to repair and grow, helping us to build muscle mass and avoid injury.
  4. Balancing intense bouts of cardiovascular or strength based exercise with calming, stretching practises such as yoga, pilates and swimming prevents over tightening of muscles which may cause pain, the development of joint problems and muscular injury.

So that’s just a small summary as to why it’s good to give yourself a break now and again. The other main factor to consider is what you’re eating too.

Proper nutrition including adequate protein, complex carbohydrates, micronutrient rich vegetables and fruits, in addition to healthful fats and oils, is key to keeping yourself as fit and healthy as can be. Without all of these our bodies can’t cope with the strains that exercise places on them which may cause excessive fatigue or depressed immune function. Guideline daily intakes for protein range from 0.8-2g/kg of bodyweight per day depending on your activity levels and without this you will not be able to repair these tissues. Including a high quality protein powder into your diet, such as our wonderful, botanical rich MACACHA blends is an incredibly convenient, healthful way to make sure you are achieving this.

And quickly before we sign off for the day a moment on the brilliant beetroot.

This blood red beauty is gaining fame in the fitness world as mounting evidence indicates particular components within it may improve your exercising ability. It is rich in nitrates which go on to produce nitric oxide, a compound that helps our blood vessels to function well, in addition to numerous antioxidants which are linked to an improved ability to re-oxygenate our muscles post exercise…. Pretty good for a little root veggie ey! To gain maximum benefit include fresh beetroot juice in your post exercise smoothie and include the juice or vegetable into your diet as frequently as possible. If perchance you aren’t a massive fan of the taste you can also give beetroot powder a go as our lovely friends at Maple & Fitz did when they made these beautiful smoothies for us. 

Obviously keeping to theme our recipe of the week will also feature this revolutionary root, sign up to our newsletter below to be the first in the know!

Written by Phoebe, Nutritional Therapist BSc DipNT mBANT mNNA mCNHC